The GOP 2nd Congressional Candidates
So you don’t have to, here is the “Marc’s Notes” version of where the three announced GOP candidates (Mark Zaccaria, Michael Gardiner and Bill Clegg) for RI’s Second Congressional District Seat stand on various issues. This is compiled directly from the “Issues” pages on each candidate’s websites–I paraphrased and used direct quotes to try to get to the nut of their stance on each issue. If a candidate didn’t address a topic, I simply left them out of that category.
Mark Zaccarria: Create a “self-sustaining fund for capital investment” for small business. “No company is too big to fail. The US Government isn’t structured to manage for-profit enterprises, so it should butt out.”
Michael Gardiner: “Jobs could come from a recovery of demand if consumers and employers suddenly had more money to spend.” Cut taxes where feasible, but focus on reducing spending. “Stabilize regulation.”
Bill Clegg: Reduce government spending, simplify the tax code, shrink government.
Zaccaria: Supports “lifetime Health Savings Account (HSA) for individuals that they and their employers could contribute to pre-tax” and “nationwide availability of low cost – high deductable insurance policies to cover you in the event of catastrophic health problems”.
Gardiner: Creating a national market in Health Care will cause savings and lead to more money in people’s pockets (ties it to the Economy).
Clegg: Try “the simplest and most efficient solutions first. Regional pooling, reasonable caps on tort awards, better coordination among states to foster competition, and more consumer–driven health plans…”
Energy and the Environment:
Zaccaria: “Government should spur research into improving the use of traditional fuels and accelerating the development of the green energy technologies that are our future. Drill Here, Drill Now for our immediate needs.”
Gardiner: Intrigued by wind farm idea, “but the government should not subsidize projects unless the numbers make sense. The demand is for cheaper power. Insulation and energy efficient appliances and furnaces provide attainable and durable reduction in consumption.” Seems wary of nuclear power, but willing to expand it. “Respect for the environment should not lead to absolutism, but rather prudence and caution.”
Clegg: “The world is simply not getting any safer or less complex and we must maintain a strong and modern military in order to be prepared for an uncertain future.”
Zaccaria: “Government can also craft an environment where competition lowers the cost of education and where performance, both of students and their institutions, is highlighted, celebrated, and made a factor in achieving our goals.”
Zaccaria: “I favor an easy-to-apply-for Guest Worker program that permits 9 months of legal residence and W-2 wages followed by 3 months back in the country of origin.” Favors use of E-Verify.
Zaccaria: “We must end abortion in the US. The question is how?” Wants to “begin a comprehensive program of leadership where we educate all Americans on the alternatives to abortion and their benefit. Patterned after the 40 Stop Smoking campaign, this initiative would have much more immediate effect since it’s not about personal addiction. No one wants to have an abortion.”
Gardiner: “Save as many as possible without offending individual freedom….I accept Roe v. Wade, but would like to see it modified to protect more life by expanding the definition of life. I would be open to the states states and the people acting in the field by constitutional amendment. I think this is uniquely a woman’s’ issue that that will always be heavily influenced by women.”
Zaccaria: Supports The Defense of Marriage Act, which “squarely puts the question right back where 250 years of American jurisprudence has always placed it: As a right of States to decide for themselves.”
Gardiner: Opposes The Defense of Marriage Act. “I do not believe that the state may choose the gender of your family.”
Zaccaria: Supports the 2nd Amendment.
Zaccaria: “I believe that there are certain crimes that are so abhorrent that the government will need to sanction a perpetrator with the loss of their very life. Our government should have the ability to use this penalty in cases where it is appropriate.”
Editorial aside: Since Zaccaria is the veteran in this race, his platform is more robust. Overall, his position on each of the issues is about where you’d expect a mainstream Republican to stand. Gardiner seems to be carrying the Moderate Republican mantle: conservative/pragmatic about the economy and the environment and socially liberal. Clegg seems most comfortable talking about the economy and was the only of the three to mention foreign policy/military. He didn’t specifically address some of the cultural hot-button issues, but he talks about encouraging self-reliance and personal responsibility. He also has a slogan prepared, “Raise Trust, Not Taxes.”
Setting aside the questionable wisdom of having three apparently able members of the thin RI GOP bench embarking on the same (probably) quixotic quest to oust a comfortably situated incumbent, I’ll find it interesting to hear Gardiner and Clegg flesh out their positions in contrast to the more established Zaccaria.
Hope they’re all self-funding!